July 04, 2015 12:13:18 UK
Teenage attacking midfielder George Mells has returned to Australia to sign a one-year deal with Adelaide United.
Mells was only 12 when he headed to England to join Chelsea’s youth system and he had been with Southampton for the past four years.
Still only 18, he is looking to make the grade at senior level after signing for Josep Gombau’s side for an initial one season with an option for a second year.
Adelaide are 7.00 to win the Grand Final.
Mells is eligible to play for both Australia and Greece, and has represented both countries at U-17 level.
It’s a fantastic feeling to have signed for Adelaide.
He had been strongly linked last year with a move to Dutch side Feyenoord.
Mells said: “It’s a fantastic feeling to have signed for Adelaide. It’s a great opportunity for me to finally play some senior football and the club have a great philosophy especially with the Spanish influence through the coaching staff.
“When I spoke to Josep it was clear that he promotes a very Spanish-like style, which is the type of game that suits me. Now is the right time for me to start stepping into senior football and I feel Adelaide is the best place for me to do that.”
Mells said he had spoken frequently to Frank Lampard while he was with Chelsea, and had picked up a lot of valuable hints from him. He also got a lot of advice from former manager Mauricio Pochettino while he was at Southampton.
United chief executive officer Michael Petrillo said he felt it was a great credit to the Reds’ coaching staff and football programme that a player like Mells had chosen to sign for the club.
Petrillo added: “George impressed our coaches in his two trials here and there was no hesitation in offering him a contract as he will undoubtedly bolster our midfield ranks this season.”
United are 2.50 to win their first match of the season against Melbourne Victory, who are 2.50 with the draw 3.40.
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